Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Household Advice Manuals - Cassells Household Guide, New and Revised Edition (4 Vol.) c.1880s [no date] -  Pretty and Cheap Table and Other Ornaments

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Volume 1



WHILST writing our recent articles on paper flower-making it struck us that the alabaster vases and other ornaments generally purchased to show such bouquets were very costly, and beyond the reach of many of our readers. Not long ago we saw a beautiful and choice group of wax flowers, mounted under a glass shade, in a vase apparently of white coral, which had been made for a very trifling sum and without much trouble, as follows :�Take a long-necked wine-bottle, with a rounded bowl, and with a coil of flexible white cap-wire twine it all over to resemble coral, like Fig. 2, interlacing it in every way. The spikes on the coral are merely loops twisted together. Fig. 3 shows the effect round the bottle. It must not be joined below the line indicated by A and B, but the coral work continued, only not fastened on one side, so that the bottle can be slipped out. Afterwards link this part together. Cover it all over closely with white Berlin wool, twisted round and round. Melt enough white virgin wax in a pipkin to dip the vase in, holding it by a wool thread; or pour the wax over and over it, melting it afresh as it congeals, till you have a good imitation of branch coral. When quite hard, fill the inside entirely with dried moss. The flowers are placed in the usual way in it. A basket constructed on the same principle is also very pretty. Baskets are now generally adopted for flowers without handles ; but, if the coral is skilfully made, the handle will prove a charming addition.
    The work may be varied by covering the wire with scarlet Berlin wool instead of white, and mixing some powdered vermilion with the wax, stirring it up just before pouring on the basket.
    An ornament for the dinner-table is not difficult to contrive in the same way. Make three plates of different sizes in the coral ; half a garden stick is to be used for the stun, coated with wax. Get a round of wood, half an inch thick, an inch wider than the coral  stand at the base ; cover it with crimson velvet, and put a wreath of ivy-leaves round it ; arrange a wreath round the stem. Put a little dried moss very lightly in each coral-plate at the centre, leaving the edges free, and arrange flowers on them. The coral cup at the top can be made separate from the stand, and added last. Fill these well with moss and flowers. Fig.5 shows the stand; Fig. 6 one of the plates. The cup at the top can be made over a jelly glass. Fig. 7 shows the stand dressed. White coral is the best for this purpose.


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